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Beginning Clarinet Songbook

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Welcome to the Beginning Clarinet Songbook

Lesson 12: Harmony
Key Signatures

Follow the links below for more information on each song, as well as pictures and helpful links.

Song #1: The Key is Key

Song #2: Clarobotoo Admires the Central Pivot Irrigation Farms of the Midwest

Song #3: Pink Dogwoods Playing in a Clear Blue Sky

Song #4: The Train is on Its Way

Song #5: Flopsy the Whimsical Clown Fixes His Engines and Speeds Forward

Song #6: Autumnal Reflections in a Rippling Stream

The elements of music in Lesson 12:

Sound: Pitches used in this lesson: Low G through B flat
Dynamics used in these pieces: forte, mezzo forte, mezzo piano, and piano
Accidentals: flats and sharps
Rhythm: Time signatures used in this lesson: two-four, three-four, four-four
Note values used in this lesson: eighth notes, eighth rests, quarter notes, quarter rests, half notes, half rests, dotted half notes, whole notes, and whole rests
Melody: phrases, breath marks, slurs
Harmony: Key signatures

Using accidentals every time we need to write a flat or sharp sign can make the music very cluttered and hard to read. A simple way to fix this problem is through the use of key signatures.

The key signature occurs between the clef and the time signature. It has one or more sharps or flats and is on every staff of a piece of music. The key signature indicates the key of the music that you are playing. Up through Lesson 10, almost all of the songs that you played were in the key of C major, which has no sharps or flats.

In this lesson we will learn two key signatures:

Key signature for G Major

The sharp in the key signature for G major indicates that every time you see an F, you should play the pitch F sharp.

Key signature for F Major

The flat in the key signature for F major indicates that every time you see a B in any range or octave of the piece, you should play B flat.

When we say that a song is in a certain key, it means that the music is drawn to the pitch of that key. For example, in G major, the music is drawn to the pitch G. Notice that all of the songs in Lesson 12 end on the note of their key signatures. All of the songs in F major (one flat in the key signature) end on F. All of the songs in G major (one sharp in the key signature) end on G.

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Thank you.
Kyle Coughlin

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